Be able to prepare a professional development plan 3.1 Select learning opportunities to meet development objectives and reflect personal learning style I need to ensure that my own training is up to date and current. I will source training courses and liaise with my manager to get authorisation for them. I work with my service manager to understand the organisational objectives for my role and to establish if I need training to meet these objectives. Sometimes I will only need to do some research to gain the knowledge that I need. As a trainer it is important that I attend refresher training to keep my skill up to date and in line with current legislation. We are all different and as such have preferred methods for learning new skills, by understanding the memory process we may be able to develop effective learning. The Atkinson-Schiffrin model described by Malim and Birch puts memory into 3 steps with the input of information going into the brain at level 1 which is the short-term memory this information is then analysed and any unwanted information is discarded here.
Anything your brain considers useful goes into the long-term memory where it is retained. However, if we do not recall certain information within 1-8 hours the possibility of recalling that information drops dramatically and the more time goes by without recalling it the worse chance we have of remembering it. By the time a month has gone by the information may be lost in the depths of our brain. This ‘lost’ information is not lost forever, it is possible to recall it but it may mean you will need to just relax and try and ‘clear your mind’ or it may mean you will have to read about the information again. As trainers we are not always able deliver training in a way that suits every individual.
We need to understand the different methods of learning. Honey and Mumford are best known for their learning style questionnaire. This self-administered questionnaire determines your preferred learning style. The styles are: Activitists (Do) – Immerse themselves fully in new experiences; Enjoy here and now; Open minded, enthusiastic, flexible; Act first, consider consequences later; Seek to centre activity around themselves. Reflectors (Review) – Stand back and observe; Cautious, take a back seat; Collect and analyze data about experience and events, slow to reach conclusions; Use information from past, present and immediate observations to maintain a big picture perspective. Theorists (Conclude) – Think through problems in a logical manner, value rationality and objectivity; Assimilate disparate facts into coherent theories; Disciplined, aiming to fit things into rational order; Keen on basic assumptions, principles, theories, models and systems thinking. Pragmatists (Plan) – Keen to put ideas, theories and techniques into practice; Search new ideas and experiment; Act quickly and confidently on ideas, gets straight to the point; Are impatient with endless discussion.
3.2 Produce a plan for own professional development, using an appropriate source of support we have a Performance and Development process (PDP). Part of this process involves setting objectives and producing a development plan for the next 12 month period. I work with the service manager to produce a development plan that reflects my personal objectives and the objectives that are set . The objectives set should be SMART:
3.3 Establish a process to evaluate the effectiveness of the plan As part of the Performance and Development Process the objectives are reviewed every quarter. If the objectives have been meet new objectives can then be set. If the objectives have not been meet then the progress is discussed, it may be decided to modify the objectives if they are no longer SMART. As managers we meet regularly with our service manager and the HR consultant. We discuss the effectiveness of the process and any improvements that could be made.